After uptick in crime on North Temple, SLCPD will increase patrols, open new substation

After an uptick in crime on North Temple, Salt Lake City police say they plan to increase patrols and open a new substation in the area. (Photo: Cristina Flores)

(KUTV) — Salt Lake Police said they are getting close to executing a plan to increase their presence and patrols on North Temple near 800 West.

The area was already known for prostitution and drug dealing, but since Operation Rio Grande started last summer, pushing criminals out of that neighborhood, things got worse on North Temple, police said.

“We’ve seen an uptick,” said Detective Greg Wilking of the Salt Lake City Police Department.

Wilking said the police department is getting very close to opening a new police substation on North Temple near 800 West, right next door to a motel known for attracting drug dealers.

He said a bike squad has already moved from downtown to North Temple.

“It’s been almost a year now, and there’s been no visible change on the street,” said Nigel Swaby, a real estate agent who lives in the nearby Fairpark neighborhood.

Swaby said it was local, small business leaders who recommended the substation idea to the mayor and police chief — and he’s glad they listened.

Down the street on 800 West, Brittany Reese, who owns Sugar Space, a venue available for rent for parties and art events, said she worries that the crime on North Temple will scare customers away from the many small businesses that moved to the area a few years ago.

When she moved in five years ago, she took a chance on the neighborhood because other small business owners were doing the same and developers were planning projects in the neighborhood.

She feels if crime isn’t addressed immediately, the progress that was happening will be reversed.

“It was really on a good upswing and you don’t want to see it go back,” she said.

Swaby said it’s finally time for city leaders to give North Temple the attention they promised to make it the "gateway" to the city.

“We are the welcome mat to people on TRAX and driving in from the airport. We want to show it in the best light and, right now, we don’t have that,” he said.

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